Healthy Mouth Tips

Did you know that more than one third of ALL cancer patients develop some type of complications that will affect their mouth? It is true and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research backs up that claim. The effects that a patient may experience can range from mild to severe and the symptoms that afflict cancer patients include:

• Sensitive gums
• Sores within the mouth
• Jaw pain
• Dry mouth
• Infections

It is important that you take care of your mouth and have it checked and examined every six months to ensure that you do not develop any complications. Patients who have been diagnosed with oral cancer and cancer need to come in more often for checkups.

Cancer Can Affect Your Mouth

Cancer and the different treatments used for cancer, such as chemotherapy, can have a negative impact on your body including your mouth and immune system. If your mouth is not healthy prior to developing cancer and prior to cancer treatments, these will only make it worse. In fact, you are more susceptible to infections.

If you do happen to develop an infection, it can become severe in nature and this can ultimately delay the treatment you need to receive and hinder cancer treatments from being effective.

Radiation therapy can be quite damaging, especially when it is used on the head and neck area. The reason behind this is because the radiation can damage the salivary glands and this leads to dry mouth and sticky, thick saliva. Dry mouth can then lead to infection and tooth decay.

Three Steps to Take to Ensure Healthy Gums and Teeth

Taking care of your mouth before, during, and after your cancer treatment is a must and can help lower your chances of developing infections and having problems with your teeth. Below, we will cover each phase of oral health care and provide you with some tips on what you can do

Before Treatment

Before you have any type of cancer treatments performed, you should visit your Denver dentist, Dr. Sohn. He will be able to examine your mouth and look at your teeth to identify any issues that may exist. If you do have any dental health problems, they will be corrected at this time.

Next, you should continue to brush your teeth twice per day with a quality fluoride toothpaste. If you are unsure of what toothpaste to use, ask Dr. Sohn for some of his recommendations. In addition to brushing, you also need to floss your teeth to remove any food that may be stuck in your teeth. Flossing also removes plaque from between your teeth and helps fight against cavities.

You want to make sure that you avoid smoking any type of tobacco products. Tobacco can cause oral cancer, throat cancer, and tongue cancer, so it is important to avoid this bad habit altogether. While we know that quitting may be difficult, you will be happier and healthier in the long run.

Next, you should make sure you eat a diet of healthy and nutritious foods. You do want to avoid starches and sugars as they will cling to your teeth and allow plaque to flourish.

Lastly, always rinse your mouth often. You should ideally rinse after every meal or drink that you have. Rinsing will help keep your gums and teeth clean. The best mouth rinse is made from baking soda, salt, and water.

During Treatment

westerville-dentistThroughout your treatment period, you may experience a variety of symptoms that range from mild to severe. It is important that you always talk to your appropriate doctors when you have a concern about your health.

When it comes to your dental health, Dr. Sohn is ready to help you and counsel you on what to do. It is essential that your Denver dentist, Dr. Sohn, and your primary care physician are able to communicate about the types of medications you are taking, as this can impact your dental health.

Sometimes, you may find that you develop a variety of symptoms as you receive cancer treatment. Some of the oral side effects include:

• Dry mouth
• Mouth sores
• Jaw pain
• Sensitive gums
• Infections

If you have developed any of these symptoms, we recommend that you call Dr. Sohn today to schedule an appointment with him.

After Treatment

Once you have completed your cancer treatment, you want to resume the same steps you took before treatment. This means that you should:

• Visit your Denver dentist often
• Brush twice per day
• Floss twice per day
• Eat nutritious foods and avoid sugars and starches
• Avoid tobacco
• Rinse your mouth after meals and drinks

What Types of Foods Should I Eat?

When we talk about eating nutritious foods, it is important that you avoid a lot of sugars and starches. There are many healthy food choices out there that will help keep your teeth and mouth healthy. For example, you can consume any of the following options:

• Protein
• Seafood
• Eggs
• Legumes
• Beans
• Fruits
• Vegetables
• Low-fat dairy
• Grains

Schedule an Appointment with Your Denver Dentist Today

If you are planning on undergoing cancer treatment or you have questions about your current oral health, contact C S Family Dental today. We are committed to providing you with all of the information you need about your oral health. Dr. Sohn is compassionate and ready to sit down with you to discuss your oral health care needs.